| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 38 - Page 80 of 249 Index | Zoom | |
"The death of Christ was superfluous, if the law is sufficient for justification."
The argument which has been put forward in the first person now ceases, and the
apostle addresses the Galatians direct. Notice this use of the pronoun "I" in verses 19-21.
"Thus St. Paul courteously uses the first person I instead of the second thou, and with
that delicate refinement and consummate skill of which he is master, leaves St. Peter to
adopt his words and apply them to himself" (Wordsworth).
With the opening of the third chapter the apostle addresses himself to the main
purpose of his epistle. Up till now, he has not directly established the doctrine of
justification by grace through faith, but has devoted his attention to the vindication of his
apostleship and the authority and nature of his gospel. The way is now cleared for the
definite enunciation of the gospel way of righteousness which this epistle was written to
show, and with the preparation provided by these studies as a background we hope to
take up the main argument of this epistle in our next article.
No.58. (16) GALATIANS.
Galatians 2: 21 - 3: 7.
"Jesus Christ . . . crucified" (3: 1).
pp. 92 - 95
With the closing verse of Gal. 2:, the apostle leaves behind the personal approach to
his great theme, and addresses himself to proof. He had vindicated his apostleship, he
had shown that those who seemed to be pillars at Jerusalem were compelled to admit his
claims and endorse the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles, he shows that
Peter was in the wrong when he acted as he did at Antioch under pressure of the
Circumcision, and had concluded by giving his own personal testimony.
With the opening of Gal. 3: "he enters upon a course of reasoning as close, as
logical, and as conclusive as is to be met with in the works of the most metaphysical of
modern writers" (Gwynne). "O foolish Galatians." To address the inhabitants of Phrygia
and Iconium as "Galatians" is to take the Roman point of view. "The very fact that only
Romans or person speaking decidedly and pointedly from the Roman point of view
employed the name in that sense . . . . . the `men of the Province of Galatia' are,
therefore, those who desire education, who have shaken off the numbing and degrading
influence of magic and superstition . . . . . who lay claim to insight and noesis. There is a
telling innuendo in the juxtaposition anoetoi Galatia, `you who are showing yourselves
devoid of noesis' `Galatae who fail the first characteristic of Galatae'." (Ramsay).
This suggestion is put into plain language in Gal. 4: 9-11, which the structure places
in correspondence with the argument of Gal. 2: 15-20. Did the apostle open his
argument with these believers who were so dear to him, with the somewhat rude and